When Safety Isn’t Safe Anymore

6 Jun

I was talking to a close confidant the other day and we began to talk about the idea of emotional safety.

When we feel safe; we feel connected, we feel loved, which leads to assurance in the things we do, say, and how we act. It is a glorious existence.

What about those times when a benign comment from someone close to you shudders through your body like lightning. And, alerts you to a threat to your emotional safety; real or imagined?

All of us have these psychological protective mechanisms that alert us to threats to our emotional well being. They look like the sharp tongue; that can back somebody off instantly with a statement that takes their knees out. Or, the passive-aggressive approach; that avoids direct confrontation by firing an angry shot with a mask on. And, there is the deflector; who feels the alert; yet, passes off the alert as someone else’s responsibility or points the finger at everyone but themselves.

There are also my favorites; that I have practiced for a long time. The internalizer and the pain shopper. As a way to protect myself and avoid confrontation when the alert bells crackled through my being; I kept it all in. As a result; I was at war inside. And, that internal battle felt safe because I didn’t have to let anyone in. As a result of the internalization; I found myself believing I was defective (this is shame). To be safe in that shame; I needed evidence. And, that was when the pain shopper was born.

My mind could find anything that would reinforce this narrative; it will today if I let it.

These safety measures are no longer safe! Even as they want to stand up and keep my mind, body, and soul safe. They no longer serve a purpose; they hurt me.

When the pain of relying on your defense mechanisms becomes greater than the purpose they serve; safety isn’t safe anymore.

Fellas, how do we become safe in a world that is calling for our hearts not just our physical strength and check books?

If you are willing to become susceptible to your defenses being broken down; you are willing to be the source of emotional, mental, and spiritual safety for those closest to you. As a result of this purpose; a satisfaction and substance will make you safe with yourself and cherished, revered and loved on levels you did not think possible.

2 Responses to “When Safety Isn’t Safe Anymore”

  1. Greg D June 6, 2018 at 5:33 am #

    Good stuff Britter…again.
    I wonder how many people are actually capable of cognitively embracing these discussions, while genuinely understanding their own weaknesses to the level of meaningful vulnerability and admission of the need for help to uncover and discover shortcomings?
    Better yet, the absolute necessity that God remove and heal these areas of our mind and soul that have been warped with a skewed perspective, upon their discovery.
    Hopefully more than I think there are my friend; If everybody had these tools to reveal these foundational affirmations, the world would be a much different place.

    God bless you buddy, take it easy.

    • The Oak Tree June 12, 2018 at 3:26 am #


      Thank you! And, your insight is spot on. I am banking on the fact that God will teach minds and change hearts with this message. I believe men are hungry for it. Maybe they don’t know it just yet.

      I am glad to see that you are back in school to finish up. Stay with it!

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